June is Pride month, and the area’s LGBTQIA+ communities kicked off a series of annual celebrations with several flag-raising ceremonies, including at Fresno State and Fresno City and Clovis Community colleges.
The Pride Flag was also scheduled to be raised in Fresno Tower District Thursday evening to fly in advance of a larger celebration on Saturday.
33 Years of Fresno Rainbow Pride
Fresno Rainbow Pride has run its parade through the Tower District for 33 years, with a two-year hiatus during the pandemic.
It returns Saturday with a “Qu33r All Year” parade down Olive Avenue, followed by a day’s worth of activities, including the Pride Festival on the FCC campus and an official after-party at Splash Video Dance Bar.
The party starts after the parade, though the club opens at 10 a.m., just as the parade starts.
Olive Avenue will be closed to traffic by 7 a.m. for set-up.
The Pride Festival starts at 11 a.m. and runs until 3 p.m. There guests can enjoy more than two dozen food trucks and vendors, a beer garden, a family/kids area and an entertainment stage hosted by Cara Coronado and Deja Skye, who was on Season 14 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
Note: Organizers have a bag policy for the festival. Guests are allowed one clear bag, no larger than 12 inches by 6 inches by 12 inches, or one non-clear bag if its under 4.5 inches by 6.5 inches by 2 inches in size. Security and police may inspect any bags brought into the festival.
The event is part of a larger group of celebrations across the county in remembrance of the Stonewall Riots, which took place in New York City’s Greenwich Village in 1969 and set the stage for the modern gay rights movement.
The first Fresno pride parade happened in 1991, lasted 10 minutes, tops, was attended mostly by the die-hard LGBT community and almost ended in a brawl with the Ku Klux Klan. Since then, it has become a celebration of diversity — from both from those inside and out the LGBTQIA+ community — drawing dozens of participants and thousands of spectators.
This year’s parade features 100 entries rolling down the Olive Avenue corridor from Fruit to Maroa.
That’s 20 more than last year.
Park and walk (or ride)
Parking will be relaxed at Fresno City College for the day and organizers are encouraging those traveling into the Tower District to park there and walk to the nearby campus. There is also a free shuttle service running from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with three pick-up and drop-off locations: at Palm and Olive, at Wishon and Fern behind the Dollar Tree and in front of the FCC fountain.